Roughly one in six South Carolinians — about 750,000 people — has no health insurance. In Spartanburg County alone, uninsured adults account for more than 35,000 of that statewide figure.
This has far-reaching consequences. People without insurance can face a litany of financial ramifications and are often unable to work because of untreated debilitating health conditions. They are more likely to delay necessary medical care until it becomes an emergency. Rather than accessing preventive care and routine visits to a family physician, uninsured people are forced to use emergency rooms as their primary source of care.
What happens then?
South Carolina hospitals provide hundreds of millions of dollars in services for which they are not paid every year. As a result, businesses that provide insurance to employees are paying increasingly higher premiums to underwrite the cost of care to the uninsured. Meanwhile, South Carolina's health outcomes rank among the worst in the nation.
AccessHealth Spartanburg was created to help. A groundbreaking initiative started in 2010, AccessHealth Spartanburg has opened doors for thousands of people in need of quality and timely health care. In the process, the program has reduced community reliance on the emergency department for non-emergent care while helping thousands of people connect not only to the health care services they need but also to other community resources, support, and even employment.
AccessHealth Spartanburg expanded into Cherokee County in 2018 and Union County in 2019 and today guides eligible clients in its three-county area to a network of physicians who donate their time for the betterment of the community. Additionally, AccessHealth Spartanburg navigates clients to a healthier lifestyle by addressing their social barriers to care.
Our model for complex case management and our elevation of the role of community health workers has been recognized by a number of national health care organizations, including the Center for Health Care Strategies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Healthcare Leadership Council and the American Public Health Association.
Thanks to funding from The Duke Endowment, and support from many other partners, AccessHealth Spartanburg is improving community health and the lives of thousands of people in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties.
To improve access to health care for the uninsured of Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties through sustainable health system change that will result in better health outcomes and 100% access to effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable healthcare.
To spark sustainable health system change that results in better health outcomes and 100% access to effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable health care throughout the region.